The Victorian police are currently investigating ALP Leader Bill Shorten for raping a 16-year-old girl in 1986. The mainstream media reported earlier this month that a “Senior ALP figure” was being investigated for rape but failed to name Bill Shorten although there is nothing to stop them from doing so.
Given Mr Shorten’s position as a potential Prime Minister every Australian has a right to know about the police investigation and we should expect a fully detailed explanation from Mr Shorten immediately. Failing that he should resign. His current tactics of hiding behind a lawyer and barrister will not do.
The average person can and do get named by the media all the time when serious allegations are made against them and even more so when the police are investigating. So what makes Bill Shorten so special?
The alleged victim started looking for help online in about mid-September which seems to have started on Kevin Rudd’s Facebook page where she wrote the below:
I have not named the alleged victim as I do not feel there is any need to, not because of any legal restrictions. From what I can tell she went online looking for help and has decided to stop talking to the media and to leave it in the hands of the Victorian police after making a formal complaint.
On November the 14th 2013 The Australian broke the story in an article titled “ALP figure faces 80s rape claim” which said:
“A SENIOR Labor figure is under investigation by Victoria Police after it was alleged he raped a teenager at an event organised by the party’s youth wing in the 1980s.”
“The alleged victim, who cannot be named, claims the assault took place during an overnight camp organised by the “Vanguard” movement of the state’s Young Labor party and held in Portarlington, near Geelong.”
“The woman, a community nurse who now lives on the NSW central coast, last month made a formal complaint to Victoria Police. The complaint was assessed before the decision was made to launch an investigation.”
“Lawyers for the man said last night the “unsubstantiated claims date back almost 30 years and they have never previously been raised with him”.” (Click here to read more)
Other media that day ran with same story and referenced The Australian. The Australian wrote a follow-up article the next day titled “Tanya Plibersek backs full 80s rape probe” which starts off:
“THE deputy leader of the federal Labor Party, Tanya Plibersek, has said she fully supports the police investigation of a senior party figure after it was alleged the man raped a teenager at a holiday complex during the 1980s.” and “Tony Abbott has also said he supports the police investigation. “If something has happened, let it be looked into and treated as it should be by the relevant authorities,” the Prime Minister told Melbourne radio station 3AW yesterday.” (Click here to read more)
While the Australian did not name Shorten they did drop a very big hint. They pointed out in one article that it was not Kevin Rudd being investigated and they asked the Deputy Leader of the ALP, Tanya Plibersek, her viewpoint and PM Tony Abbott his opinion, but not the ALP leader Bill Shorten. It is not that hard for the reader to work out that The Australian is pointing the finger at Bill Shorten.
The alleged victim did make a number of other comments on Facebook such as the one below:
The allegations are detailed, so at the very least the alleged victim does seem to know Bill Shorten and Bill Shorten has not denied knowing the victim. Bill Shorten has also not denied having sex with the victim.
Bill Shorten and his advisors have and are working overtime behind the scenes to close this story down and I know because Shorten has form on the board for doing exactly that. In May 2012 Mr Shorten moved to close down a rumour that was spreading widely in Canberra and on the Internet and I wrote a post titled “Has Bill Shorten gotten one of his staff members Pregnant? Shorten calls the lawyers.” which starts off:
“The rumour mill has spread all over the net in the last few days that federal MP Bill Shorten has gotten one of his staff members pregnant. Bill Shorten says he has taken legal advice.” (Click here to read more) Bill Shorten and his wife Chloe Bryce did an interview to deny the rumour but never said what the rumour was. It was a big talking point in the media about how stupid it was because how can you deny something if you do not say what you are denying. The net effect is Mr Shorten did not deny anything. It was clearly designed to close down other media reports by the implied threat that Mr Shorten has called his lawyer.
I think Bill Shorten’s career is over. It is just a matter of time. He has handled this very poorly and had no option but to call a press conference when the allegations first surfaced and deal with them openly. To do what he has done seems like the actions of a guilty person in the same way that Rolf Harris tried to close down the media and he ended up looking guilty.
I could write a novel on Bill Shorten and his corrupt ways and have written plenty before (click here) but I will keep this post short and focused and do a follow-up post or two in the very near future.
Everyone who has followed the story closely knows that it is Bill Shorten that is being investigated. The problem being that is has not received a lot of media coverage.
This is very much like the Rolf Harris media issue that this site covered back in March 2013. The story was all over Twitter that Rolf Harris had been arrested and interviewed by the British police but all the mainstream media would only say that it was an “82-year-old Australian entertainer” who was “from Berkshire”. (Click here to read the three posts that I wrote on the topic) There was no legal reason not to name Rolf Harris although some media said there was. After the story was far and wide on the Internet the British paper The Sun announced the “World Exclusive” and named Rolf Harris and other media around the world followed.
There is no legal reason not to name Bill Shorten and if the story takes the same course as Rolf Harris and spreads far and wide on the net then the mainstream media will have no option but to name Mr Shorten. Because every day they fail to name Mr Shorten they look dumber and dumber in front of their own readers.
Update: I have published two follow-up articles in relation to the above post which are:
“Bill Shorten refuses to answer media questions regarding alleged rape of 16-year-old girl” on the 11th December 2013 (Click here to read the article)
and “Bill Shorten and the Victoria Police rape investigation. Do we have a right to know?” on the 9th February 2014 (Click here to read the article)
I have contacted the Victoria police again and as of the 20th May 2014 they are still investigating. Their exact response is: “Police are investigating a report of an alleged historical sexual assault. As the matter is subject to an ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
I have set up a dedicated page for the police investigation with further information. It is titled: “Bill Shorten – Vic Police rape investigation” (Click here to go to the page)
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